Joshua Lazard has been named the first C. Eric Lincoln Minister at the Duke University Chapel.
The new position honors the life and legacy of the late C. Eric Lincoln, a scholar, social activist, novelist, hymn-writer and pastor who taught religion and culture at Duke from 1976 to 1993. Lincoln was a Methodist minister and noted scholar of the sociology of religion and race in the United States.
As the Lincoln minister, Lazard will contribute to the Duke Chapel PathWays student ministry, with an emphasis on racial reconciliation, artistic expression and outreach to students who have been historically underrepresented in the chapel’s ministries.
"I'm ready to have the hard discussions and facilitate the meaningful work of reconciliation,” Lazard said. “I'm looking forward to the challenges, because in those moments we find God most present, and such an encounter illuminates the best that humanity has to offer."
Lazard comes to Duke from Dillard University, a historically black university in New Orleans, where he directed student ministry programs within the Office of the University Chaplain.
“In Joshua, we see someone prepared to carry on the work of truth, justice and reconciliation as modeled by Dr. Lincoln’s pioneering work in black church and religious studies, as well as his life of ministry in the Methodist Church,” said the Rev. Luke Powery, dean of the chapel. “Both academic integrity and faith are at the heart of Duke Chapel’s ministry.”
Lazard attended Johnson C. Smith Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and earned a master of divinity degree and a master of arts in church music. He is currently seeking ordination in the United Church of Christ.
To learn more about the work of C. Eric Lincoln, watch this video, ‘A Conversation on Faith & Race Honoring C. Eric Lincoln,’ held in Goodson Chapel in the Duke Divinity School.